Born in South Africa (1965), Collette Dinnigan is a fashion designer who had moved to New Zealand, graduating in fashion course from Wellington Polytechnic, before moving to Sydney and working in the department of costumes at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
It was in 1992 that she became capable of opening her first ever store on William Street in Paddington and also exported her designs to Harvey Nicholas in Hong Kong plus London as well as to Barneys in New York. In 1995, she was the first designer from Australia to launch a prêt-a-porter collection in Paris. Additionally, she was also the first to participate on request in the city’s prêt parade. Her range began being stocked in stores in London, Melbourne, Sydney plus David Jones stores. In 2002, Marks & Spencer sent an invitation to Dinnigan to design a branded lingerie range exclusively for them and Target shops in Australia. After this project, she designed lingerie for David Jones under her name and the inspirational source for this assignment was her many journeys to the different parts of the world.
In 2013, it was announced that by the end of the year, the designer will be significantly scaling down more than two decade long business and shutting down her boutiques in the three cities she opened them. Moreover, the designer had decided to stop production of her evening and bridal wear lines. Around eighty percent of her staff became a victim of losing their jobs. The reason behind this drastic decision was personal, Dinnigan emphasized over the media that the profitability of the business at the time of the decision was still lucrative and there were not debt problems. However, the with the business in hand, it was becoming very difficult for the designer to allocate enough and fair time to her family and this is why just to free herself from the hassle, Dinnigan made the decision. Obviously, there was an opportunity cost involved but it was crucial for the designer to spend time with her family than to completely commit to her work.
Collette Dinnigan had first dated Richard Wilkins with whom she has a daughter, Estella. Once she came into this world, the woman, designer cum mother became thrilled to start a new collection by the name Collette Dinnigan Enfant with a trademark of sweetness, originality and quality. Afterwards, she broke up with Wilkins and married Bradley Cocks in a private ceremony on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Cocks is from Canada and is regarded as a devoted and charming partner, who is an entrepreneur with luxury hotel business around the world. Collette and Cocks have a son.
Celebrities who have posed in Dinnigan’s creations, include Julia Roberts, Megan Gale, Cate Blanchett, Halle Berry and Elle Macpherson. Collette’s inspiration to design stunning, chic and en trend outfits come from music, film, photography, classic ceramics, fabrics, jewelry and history. All these culturally and artistically infused sources of inspiration instantly suggest that Dinnigan is attracted towards creativity and innovation as much as she is fond of the times that have gone by. She blends the two contrasting times of modernity and classic to conjure up something smart and fashionable yet very unique.
Dinnigan was presented the Vuitton Business Award in 1997 and the following year she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Australian Businesswomen.
Despite her aim to balance her life and work, she continues to create for her diffusion labels and other exclusive projects.